(Originally posted December 24, 2013)

Friends, I have been where you are now, and how well I remember how dark that place is. Because of some very bad choices made by you and/or your spouse, you are alone. Your spouse has moved out. Everyone around you seems to have friends & family, happiness, and a big goofy grin as they shop for gifts. But all YOU want to do is crawl in a hole and disappear from the world. At times it seems as though the misery you’re feeling will never go away, and you’ll remain in this dark place forever.

In July 1989, Tiffani and I had been married for 23 months when she left with our two children to go live with her parents in California. As a “perfectionist” heavy metal guitarist, I had demonstrated by my actions that I was married more to my music than I was to her. So she made the decision in her heart that if she was going to be treated as a single mom, then she was going to live as one.

In November of that year, she flew back to Charleston, South Carolina (where I was stationed by the US Air Force) to bring our toddler daughter back to me. Then, ignoring all my pleas to come home to stay with me, she flew back to California. That Christmas was the most wretched holiday I have ever lived through. I was a baby Christian at the time, having given my life to the Lord in August 1989. I certainly didn’t have any long-standing faith to lean on. I was just barely learning to crawl as a believer at that time. To be quite honest, I wanted to die. I just wanted Jesus to take me home to heaven, away from all the pain. But when I looked into my little girl’s eyes, I knew that for the time being, SHE was the one who I needed to live for. She needed me.

I am thankful that I had made a couple of good Christian friends… friends that were far more mature in their faith than I was. They refused to let me hide away. They knew that I needed to stay active, and not wallow in self-pity. They made sure I came to church and let people love on me and my little girl. They made certain that I always had people checking up on me, loving me through the trials. Quite frankly, if I hadn’t allowed myself to be taken to these events, I may not have made it through. Left alone, I would likely have let the darkness overtake me, swallow me whole… perhaps even taken my life.

I do not doubt that your heart hurts – even to the point of it being a physical pain. Yes, that pain is REAL. There were several times that I, at 23-24 years old, thought I was having a heart attack – it hurt that bad.

My message to you today is to stay involved. DO NOT let the pain overtake you. No matter how much you want to go hide away. Instead, surround yourself with family that loves you, and with believing friends that will lift you up in prayer. Methodically and specifically put PRAYING PEOPLE in your inner circle. Make yourself accountable to your pastors and elders. Volunteer your time at your local fellowship, doing something – ANYTHING – to keep yourself about the business of God’s Kingdom.

I cannot promise you that your spouse will return (even though mine eventually did in June 1990) – that is completely in God’s hands. What I CAN promise you is that God has not forgotten you. He knows your pain, and I believe He weeps with you. Psalm 56:8 says: “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.”

So to all our friends who are standing for their marriages, know that we – Jason & Tiffani – are praying for you. We are praying for peace in your homes, comfort in your hearts, and restoration in your marriages. We know that our God is in the business of miracles in the lives of His children. May you know HIS peace, HIS joy, and HIS love, in spite of your pain.

A few scriptures to lighten your burdens:

Psalm 34:18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Revelation 21:4 And He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.

Romans 8:28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

Psalm 121
A Song of Ascents.
I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From where shall my help come?
My help comes from the LORD,
Who made heaven and earth.
He will not allow your foot to slip;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel
Will neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD is your keeper;
The LORD is your shade on your right hand.
The sun will not smite you by day,
Nor the moon by night.
The LORD will protect you from all evil;
He will keep your soul.
The LORD will guard your going out and your coming in
From this time forth and forever.

 Image used with permission from smarnad / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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20 thoughts on “Standing For Your Marriage Through The Holidays?

  1. Helen says:

    Thank you for the post. Although this is actually the fourth Christmas and the third separated, it is still not easy. It is very painful.
    I have my children (young adults) with me for part of the time and we will go to church together, Praise the Lord!
    Standing through the holidays – definitely!

    1. Jason says:

      Thank you for reading, Helen. I am very sad to hear that your separation continues after so long. Separation (in my opinion) should ONLY be used to give people a chance to get their heads on straight, and then to – as quickly as possible – work on getting the marriage back on track. Unfortunately, many people keep it going, and going, and going… really with no intention of ever working on the marriage. Very sad.

      I do pray that your situation changes for the better very soon. The Lord is STILL in the business of miracles! ~Jason
      Jason recently posted…Standing For Your Marriage Through The Holidays?My Profile

  2. Thank you for this message to couples deeply hurting this Christmas. God is definitely present and able to comfort.

    1. Jason says:

      Thank you for reading, and for sharing the post J. Blessings to you and your family!
      Jason recently posted…Standing For Your Marriage Through The Holidays?My Profile

  3. Jason, thank you for vulnerably sharing your testimony. There are many marriages struggling. God sees all those in pain. Thank you for extending these words of encouragement to look to HIM and his people to pull our hurting soul out of the depths.

    1. Jason says:

      Thanks Bonny. It was a rough time in our personal history, but the Lord carried us through it. Today, all these years later (and many trials later) we are the best of friends. And Jesus deserves every bit of the credit for it. Thank you for reading!
      Jason recently posted…Standing For Your Marriage Through The Holidays?My Profile

  4. Ben says:

    Thank you for this post. I am standing for my marriage right now. My wife and I have been married for 11 years, we have three kids – twin 8 year old girls and a 9 year old boy. My wife told me that she wanted a divorce 6 weeks ago, and then on the Monday before Christmas, at a counseling session, she announced that counseling was not working – she just wants out. I am completely devastated. I don’t know why this is moving so fast and why we cannot continue to try. This time is so hard for me and the kids. I feel that I am battling every minute against the sorrow and depression that our Enemy wants in my heart and mind. I can almost hear him laughing at my pain. Please say a prayer for me and my family. I can relate to just wanting to curl up in a ball and die.

    1. Jason says:

      My heart aches for you Ben. You’re absolutely right that 6 weeks is moving incredibly fast. I won’t try to speculate on the reasons for that. Is this counseling with a trusted Pastor or Elder from your church? Someone who knows both of you and is not afraid to call out sin on either side of this situation? Your marriage most likely didn’t take only a few weeks to start having troubles… it likely started long before that. It’s not going to be fixed in a few weeks either. Restoring a marriage takes work on both sides, and TIME… time to rebuild trust, time to heal hurting and broken hearts… time to break old bad habits and build new GOOD ones. Far too many people have this idea that “counseling” is some sort of magic pill that makes everything better just by showing up. The intent of a good Christian counselor should be to point both people back toward Christ, and towards each other.

      1. Ben says:

        Jason thanks for your reply. Our counselor is a Christian woman, trained at seminary, but she is a secular and licensed marriage counselor. She does not talk about sin in our meetings. And frankly I am not sure that my wife has a real relationship with Jesus. I think she might feel defensive instead of convicted if she were confronted about sin. I am clinging to hope in God that He will put people in her path to deliver His message to her, because I think she is avoiding His voice as much as she can.

        I feel like the reality of my situation is crashing down on me. My conversations with my wife are frustrating and crushing. She has almost no emotion with me. Satan loves my misery and he lies to me, weighing on me with thoughts that this is beyond the ability of God to fix. I need encouragement so badly.

  5. JB says:

    Please pray that God will restore our marriage. We were divorced in July of this year. I strongly believe that God will heal our marriage & family. Thank you!

  6. Concerned says:

    Thank you for your transparency and post. Sadly, it is much needed! I am standing for my marriage (of less than a year). I am devastated. Please pray for restoration, healing and reconciliation of our marriage. There has been a lot of colateral damage done (My family, my son, her son and anyone else that knows we are married saints). I don’t want to give the Lord a black eye. This is my second marriage and her 3rd (she wasn’t a believer until after her last marriage. My ex showed her true fruit and divorced me. My new wife is a newbie. She also suffers from depression. God has us on his operating table doing ‘open your heart’ surgery. It feels like He stop administering the anesthesia sometimes. I have my good and bad days. I don’t want to galvanize the scoffers with my tears. My wife will talk to me on the phone -but it is pretty short and businesslike. She is retreating quickly. She did this in the past hoping things will ‘blow over’. I know she doesn’t realize that there wasn’t any surgery being performed while she was a sinner -but we must go thru the refinery BUT we are not alone! Hmmm, that SOUNDS great but sometimes it is hard to swallow AND apply. I feel like I exposed myself and was just crumbled up and tossed into a trash heap.

    1. Jason says:

      We will certainly join you in praying for restoration, and complete reconciliation in your marriage. This marriage is SO young… it’s hardly gotten off the ground yet.

      1. Concerned says:

        Thank you,

        Mu wife texted me last night that she hates the situation but she doesn’t see any light at the end of the tunnel but maybe her vision is off and her counselor can help her work thru it. Please pray for the counselor to give her Godly advie. Thankfully, the counselor is a young female christian. I so miss my wife. It is worse than prison. Rumination and depression are serious issues –but to God they are dust. I KNOW GOD can but I am anxious. Please pray for my wife’s heart to soften and to listen to SOUND Godly teachings and to be receptive to me.

        Thank you for your ministry. May God continue to be glorified thru you. You guys went thru alot -but you are encouraging others.

  7. Alexandra says:

    It’s by God’s grace that I have not been depressed through the holidays since my husband left in 2012. Last year my husband had our son on Thanksgiving and my pastor and his wife invited me over–and they did the same on Christmas. This year I had my son and we went to a friend’s house. Taking your eyes off your circumstances and having fellowship with other Christians helps!

    1. Jason says:

      You are absolutely right, Alexandra! It definitely helps to take our eyes off our own circumstances.

      Thank you for reading!

  8. Beth says:

    Thank you for sharing your experience. I was once a stander and the Lord did restore our marriage! I now lead a small group of women on social media who are standing for their marriages this holiday season. I will be sharing your testimony with them today, God bless and thanks again!

    1. Jason says:

      Thank you Beth! I am SO glad you’re one who’s marriage made it through the darkest times. Lift those ladies up and keep their eyes and minds on Jesus, while they continue to wait. Psalm 37:4-5 is some excellent scripture to share for people in this place. I will check out your ministry. Feel free to find our Twitter and Facebook accounts if you like. Both are available on this blogsite. Thank you for sharing my post, and I pray it helps someone.

  9. Alexandra says:

    I believe God is working in my circumstances. My husband was supposed to have our son on Thanksgiving but the OW had HER plans…and they didn’t include my son…so I wound up having him two Thanksgivings in a row.

    I am letting my husband have our son on Christmas. I’ll be in church that day. 🙂

    1. Jason says:

      Hi Alexandra! I sincerely pray that God is hard at work in your situation. I know you’ve been waiting a long time. You are patient, and the love you have for your husband must be pretty incredible. And what better place to celebrate Jesus’ birth than worshipping at church? I’ll be leading the praise team on my electric guitar! Blessings to you and your son as you continue to wait.

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